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  1. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Beginning with Graphic Description

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Gallowglass, Sep 25, 2011.

    I don't mean graphic as in vivid depictions of violence. I mean graphic as in stuff that people don't usually want to hear about. In this case, menstrual rags.

    If you're in need of some context here, the story opens with a band of starving guerrillas fleeing through the snow, and they have pubescent girls in tow. The purpose isn't to shock: it's to show the reality of life as it was for the story's historical protagonist, Somerled, in the 12th century. I'm just wondering if it's 'acceptable' to a modern audience to have something like that in the first paragraph: will they think that it just isn't necessary, and be put off, or will it help to enrich the story and give it an element of realism?

    In your opinion as a reader and as a writer, do you think that that will go down well?
     
  2. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    Well obviously it would be for a more mature audience so I don't see any problem. Genre is here to help writers... to separate certain literature from other certain literature. Besides, say you're on your way to getting published, no one will toss your book into the garbage. You may be asked to change it to suit a broader audience. For know, I think you should write for you.
     
  3. Laura Mae.
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    Laura Mae. Member

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    I don't know why but that's such a cool idea, very realistic yet unique. I say go for it, I mean, when else will you be able to write about a woman's period without being accused of chauvinism or something? ;)
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It depends on how you write it, and how it fits with the tone of your story.

    For example, you might have one of the soldiers finding the bloody scrap, and showing some embarassment just before he kicks snow over it.
     
  5. skeloboy_97
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    skeloboy_97 Senior Member

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    It WILL go down well, if you write it well. It's your writing skill that shall determine how it goes down.
     
  6. Declan
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    Declan Senior Member

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    I'd chuckle and keep reading, so if it's written well, go for it.
     
  7. nowordswriter
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    nowordswriter Member

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    Weeeell, my opinion as a writer is that intimate details are the best. Actually, the same goes for when I'm a reader. And menstrual rags are as intimate a detail as it can get. I think it really makes the story come alive. But I mean, so okay it's gross, but the shock value might help you out. It is certainly unique I think? And people have a tendency to be engrossed by things they are repulsed by. Of course to echo jwatson, the genre would narrow down your audience so it would be just the kind of people to like being grossed out?
     
  8. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    One thing to consider;

    My aunt always tells of cleaning out the attic at her grandmother's house. She found a crate of cloth rags,
    blood stained. They threw nothing away during war. You never know if you can replace it.
    Yes, they were for the female period. Wash, dry, and reuse or save for next time.

    In this generation, we have plenty. We have several conflicts over many sections of the world, but we don't ration anything.
    Prolonged war means limited resources, the soldiers get what they need, the civilians get the rest.

    I don't think any topic is out of bounds if handled properly.
    Even the troops being immature about such things would be believable. If blooded warriors they would not be grossed out by them though.
     

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